The next time you need to cross a road, don’t be surprised if you are unable to spot a zebra crossing. It's not that the civic agencies didn't mark them. It's just that the thermoplastic paint they had used has worn off.
End result: Pedestrians play with their lives when they try to cross the road.
To top it all, traffic police officials say, the civic agencies are refusing to repaint the zebra crossings, which were painted just over a year ago.
Sources say, the bad quality paint used by the civic agencies to mark the crossings, has already disappeared from 100-odd roads.
The Delhi Traffic Police, which identified the roads, said the highest number of affected roads come under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
Though the traffic police have asked the MCD to repaint the crossings, sources say the civic agency has refused saying it cannot be repainted within three years as the paint is supposed to stay till then.
"We have identified a number of roads where lack of signages, bad road conditions and worn-out paint to mark zebra crossings hamper traffic movement. On many stretches, it has become a nightmare for the people to cross the road. A list of these roads has been given to the respective civic bodies," said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
The MCD on the other hand says it will get the roads repainted soon. "The contractor is liable to paint the zebra crossings again if it fades or gets worn off within the contract period. We will ask the contractor to repaint them," said Deep Mathur, director press and information, MCD.
A senior police officer said lack of coordination among agencies often results in bad road conditions which hampers traffic movement. "The reply we get from MCD officers is that, as per procedure, they can't repaint a zebra crossing twice within the contract period. If the agency can't award a tender twice in three years then they should use good quality paint which doesn't fade within three years," said the officer.
Some roads on which the paint has disappeared are DDU Marg, Desh Bandhu Gupta Road, Pusa Road, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Minto Road, Subhash Marg, and roads in Mayur Vihar, Patel Nagar, Shalimar Garden among others.
The officer further said that as the paint has worn off it has also led to accidents on some of these stretches. "It is worse for the elderly and kids as they have to wait for a long time to cross the road. They should repaint these stretches quickly," said VK Arora, a resident of Krishna Nagar in east Delhi.
In a recent meeting with the chief secretary, the traffic police had also raised the issue to keep one officer of MCD under traffic police so that whenever any road-related work is required they can get it done easily instead of writing several letters to the civic agencies.